Tearaway for PS Vita is $19.99 on Amazon US

Amazon has announced a reduced price for Media Molecule’s Tearaway.

For those eager to play Media Molecule’s new game Tearaway on the PS Vita but are waiting for a price reduction, well here it is.

Tearaway is $19.99 on Amazon US. You save $16.00, a (44%) savings. You will receive a code for a digital download. The size is 947Mb so make sure you have enough space. If you prefer a physical copy, it is currently $39.99.

If you’re unsure about whether you should pick up the game, check out playstation Lifestyle’s review.

Tearaway Review (PS Vita)


Playing Tearaway is like folding a piece of paper in three parts and jumping from one part to another at odd intervals. Two of those parts are filled with intricate details, a fascinating use of narrative which includes the person actually playing the game, and one whole part is a bible on how to use the Vita to its fullest extent. The last part has some bad pointers on how to use the camera, what appear to be some glitches in the pulp of the paper, and some notes regarding an average platformer. Thankfully, the majority of the time with Tearaway is spent on the good parts of the paper.

Tearaway is a platformer in the vein of Media Molecule’s earlier LittleBigPlanet. Unlike the 2D running and jumping involved in LittleBigPlanet, Tearaway uses 3D worlds found in most post-PSOne platformers. Tearaway opens with the game’s two narrators happy to see you. Players are then greeted by, well, themselves. As stated above, Tearaway contains a bible on how to use the Vita’s hardware capabilities. Or rather, Tearaway is the bible. From the moment the Vita’s camera places your real-time face into the game to the final bits of moving platforms into place with the Vita’s motion sensors – Tearaway utilizes all of the Vita’s feature to their fullest and does so unabashedly and successfully. The use of the rear touchscreen to burst a finger into Tearaway’s world never feels forced. Sliding platforms into place becomes natural. Use of both cameras to find or unlock presents and confetti works both in and out of game. These features are all integrated into the game, and use of these features makes Tearaway’s world come alive.


Before players can get to the action, the game requests what struck as the friendliest gender and ethnicity survey ever to exist. This may feel out of place, but it is recommended to complete it with the closest approximation of how you see yourself. It really helps with the game’s integration of you as a character. Not only do players guide the in-game avatars of Iota or Atoi (whose names reflect a few puns – not only do they have meaning in regards to computer language, but a toi in French means “To You” and Iota is the Greek letter which forms the basis of “I”), playable letters made into characters by using some of the world’s paper; the players appear in the game as the sun. It is Iota or Atoi’s journey to deliver this message to You, the player. Players can manipulate the world by forcing their fingers through certain paper areas, tilting the “world” with their Vita, and other ways mentioned above.

Tearaway’s levels are entirely made from sheets of paper. It appears as if each piece is its own rendered object. It makes the locations players visit pop and allows for a lot of background and foreground pieces to move independently. The world-building of Tearaway is fantastic and it shows. However, due to the amount of objects on screen, there are a few instances where the game suffers from slowdown.

Tearaway rewards attention to detail like a good platformer. Carefully hidden pull tabs and good use of the camera hide away the game’s secrets and unlockables. Most of the time the camera can be freely adjusted to look around the environments – wherein each level is comprised of thousands of intricately placed pieces of paper – to collect all of the confetti, find all the presents and the photo opportunities the game offers. However, the flip side is that once camera control is taken away the game suffers. Bad angles hide the how wide a path is, fudge the jump angle on bounce pads, and generally become a nuisance. In a game like Tearaway, where the focus on freeing imagination is encouraged by the fact Tearaway is literally made of paper; you’d think the camera would be one of those freedoms.


The jump ability in Tearaway is discovered a few levels into the game. With it, Tearaway has its moments where it settles into an average platformer. The average part can make the Vita-driven platform elements really stand out, but also make the game a little dull when those parts are played. With the amount of stuff going on within the game there are a few glitches that pop up, typically when the game transitions to a cutscene. Three times little Atoi died without any reason. The most noticeable instance was a transition to a cutscene where she was snuffed out, causing a full minute of load time before the game finally realized how to process the need to get Atoi to a checkpoint, start the cutscene, and not lose anything in-between. Despite these deaths and that one minute of awkward silence, the pace of the game was kept up. This is because death is cheap. There are no lives to count, and often players start right next to or at the place their avatar died. There is also a checkpoint system in place.

Speaking of the avatars, the little guys are completely customizable. In addition to purchasing eyes, mouths, and other features or elements; players are able to bring up sheets of paper and draw new things on them. There does not seem to be a limit to anything, even size since items can be enlarged once brought off the cutting room table. Sheets can be stacked on top of each other for a multi-layered effect as well. All of these customizations carry over into the cutscenes. Finding myself in a large desert akin to a Wild West setting I decided to feather Atoi with little paper arrows. In a later cutscene, I saw each one of those little arrows shed from Atoi.

Tearaway’s greatest achievement is the ability to successfully bridge the disconnect between the gamer and the on-screen avatar. It’s not just the interaction a player is allowed to indulge in in Tearaway’s world, the customization of Iota or Atoi, or even the story of getting the letter to the player – it is also the way the game reaches out to the player. Tearaway often requests players to take a picture of their world with the camera and use it as a skin for a character or a background for a picture. Throughout the game, players can unlock papercraft models that players can make in the real world via the Tearaway.me website. Tearaway reaches out to players just as they reach in, and does a fantastic job both ways.


If there is one fault I found with this outcome, it is the game’s reliance on the player to achieve the connection between Tearaway and its players. I have no mind to spoil anything for players, but by the end of the game some players will be touched, others will cry, many will smile and still others will simply be unaffected. And truly, this is not a problem with Tearaway so much as it is the player – it’s not Tearaway’s fault I have the emotional investment in myself the average person has in their office chair. And yet, I still understood the message.

Though this review has made a point to ensure the reader is aware of Tearaway’s flaws, the positive aspects of Tearaway far outshine its shadow. The excellent integration of the Vita’s features into its gameplay, the way Tearaway reaches out to the player, the charming and well-developed world, the use of imagination in a medium where imagination is a precious and often forgotten thing – these factors stand above the negative to create an experience you should play at least once.

*Review copy provided by publisher

by Russell Ritchey


LittleBigPlanet Karting Review (PS3)


When they told me that LittleBigPlanet was making the jump to go-karting, I laughed it off as a reskinned ModNation Racers. The two franchises came into existence around the same time and LittleBigPlanet always seemed to overshadow the off-brand racer from United Front Games. While Media Molecule got fancy websites and multiple versions, propelling Sackboy to mascot status, United Front Games didn’t just get the short end of the stick, they got poked with it. Sticks hurt!

Of course, Sony’s gone and mashed the two together for LittleBigPlanet Karting, developed by United Front Games, no less. Sackboy… Sack.. girl, and… the rest of the Sack gang are now dedicated to high-speeds, wacky weapons, and your imagination. Can dialing back the brand’s scope reinvigorate it or was it a mistake to trust UFG with LBP?

Karting starts much like every other LittleBigPlanet game. What do you imagine when you’re behind the wheel, stuck in traffic? Blasting everyone in your way and burning rubber around turns, of course! From here, players engage in a brief tutorial and race into a campaign that shows them the depth and variation the game’s toolset will allow.

LBP Karting presents tight, balanced karts with highly tuned racing mechanics. Drifting around turns and earning brief boosts in speed feels incredibly satisfying. Changing your tires for a set of hover-jets suitably alters your karts handling.

LBPK mechanically surpasses every ModNation game before it and even harkens back to Mario Kart Double-Dash or (my personal favorite) Mario Kart DS. Weapons fly freely and present danger for the leader on every inch of track. That doesn’t mean you can’t defend your 1st place position by firing weapons backwards at the last second. Players will be notified of the perfect time to defend against an incoming missile by a blue shield just below their kart. While this can be frustrating for players in second, third, or fourth, it helps to balance the front of the pack and refocus the best players on running good lines and exploiting shortcuts.

That’s not to say that the back of the pack doesn’t have firepower to even the score. The most powerful pickups will fast forward you ahead of the pack or give you a ride on a giant punching glove. You’ll find nothing in an item box as iconic as a red shell or lightning bolt, but everything proves to be as effective as those classic weapons.

Versus mode is not as finely tuned or entertaining as LBPK‘s races. That’s not to say that there’s no entertainment within, but the bulk of your gameplay will be spent online racing against friends and strangers. When you drift around a hairpin turn, leap over a chasm, and grapple hook to the other side, all before stealing first place from a player half-way around the world, you’ll know United Front has done their job and done it well.

Of all the differences between LBPK and the genre originator, Mario Kart, I’m most fond of the depth of kart customization. Different suspensions, tires, and bodies allow players to fine tune how their kart handles across different types of terrain. Beyond that, you can dress your Sackboy in as many different options as previous LBP games. I used to always pick Yoshi, but now my driver looks like a a mix between disco and cowboy themes.

That brings us to the “Play, Create, Share” hallmark that’s come to defineLBP and its community. The tools will remain familiar and the options as varied and deep as ever. That doesn’t make it any less intimidating. I tooled around in the editor for a few hours and couldn’t stop adding twists, turns, jumps, hidden pathways… my track had it all. You can find tons and tons of junk littering the campaign’s tracks. Who knows if you’ll ever use it all?

You can also create Battle Mode arenas and offer up custom objectives giving players different goals. Waypoint Races, Treasure Hunts, Score Attacks add variation to the types of levels you can Play… Create… and Share. Regardless of your track’s game type, leaderboards will keep people actively competing, much like earlier LBPs.

Despite this, LBP Karting certainly lacks progression for the franchise.LBP2 opened the world of video game development to anyone and everyone, but Karting doesn’t allow for the same type of variation in gameplay. It’s true that you couldn’t achieve the same nuance in tuning or speed without dedicating an entire game to the Kart genre. Regardless,LBPK feels like an expansion, not a brand new LBP.

If you’re a diehard LittleBigPlanet community member with high-rated levels and a sense of self-importance, I’m not about to dissuade you from LBP Karting. Thankfully, I’m not trying to! United Front Games have proven themselves as stewards the brand and the “Play, Create, Share” motto. It’s hard to fault the developer for the genre’s shortcomings, but I commend them for proving LittleBigPlanet doesn’t have to have god-awful floaty controls.